Gmelina leichhardtii (F.Muell.) Benth.

White Beech

Generally semi-deciduous tree to 30 m tall in the wild, but smaller in cultivation. Bark grey and scaly. Leaves elliptic to ovate, 10-20 cm long, 5-10 cm wide, tip pointed, margin entire but toothed on young plants, lower surface hairy, the veins raised. Flower clusters conical in outline, to 25 cm long. Flowers with corolla 2-2.5 cm long, cream with yellow and purple markings; spring to early summer. Fruit a bluish purple compressed drupe, 1.5-2 cm long.

Qld, NSW

Grown in warmer regions but will survive in Melbourne's climate.


Other warmclimate species are occasionally offered, including: G. dalrympleana (F. Muell.) H.J. Lam., Dalrymple's White Beech, which is a smaller plant with hairless leaves and smaller pink to red fruit; and G. fasciculiflora Benth., Northern White Beech, which has pale purplish flowers that are hairy outside, and purplish fruits.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Verbenaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Lamiales
family       Lamiaceae
genus        Gmelina L.